• Issue: March 2012
  • Designer: Chen Shaohua
  • Stamp Size: 40 mm x 30 mm
  • Plate no.: 877, 878 (one / no phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Joh. Enschede, The Netherlands
  • Method of printing: Offset

A white dove bearing an olive branch is one of the most recognized symbols of peace. This symbol stems from the biblical story of Noah and the Ark featured in the book of Genesis, when Noah sends the dove to find land after the flood. The dove, which returned to the ark bearing an olive branch, symbolized that the flood was over and that peace had come to the world.

Legend has it that in ancient times a crow rescued the Chinese emperor. As a token of his gratitude for restoring his safety and saving his life, the emperor turned the crow into the "bird of peace", now known as the "waxwing". This bird represents the Chinese people as a people who strive for peace, hope, serenity and prosperity.

Both the Chinese and Jewish peoples stem from ancient cultures which have much in common. Archeological remnants from the 8th century CE attest to the existence of trade between the Jews and the Chinese.

The Jewish community in Kaifeng, originally established around the 12th century, enjoyed equal rights and its members were never discriminated against or plagued by Anti-Semitism. During World War II China issued over 30,000 visas to Jewish refugees from Europe, allowing them entry to the city of Shanghai. This gesture strengthened and deepened the friendship between the two peoples and it shall never be forgotten.

The histories of both the Chinese and Jewish peoples are long and rife with suffering but their quest for peace and happiness has never ceased. 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and China, relations that have become stronger and more diverse with the passing years. During the course of these 20 years, trade between the two countries has developed rapidly and the number of Israeli companies in China and joint ventures continues to rise. The majority of this trade is in the realm of information and telecom technologies, agro-technology, water and ecology.

The Israeli stamp features a white dove — the "dove of peace" and the Chinese stamp features a waxwing — the "bird of peace". Each stamp also features an element from each country's national flag: a Star of David and a pentagram.

Merav Brenners, Israel and He Haoyuan, China

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Symbols of Peace: Dove and Waxwing 20 Years of Diplomatic Relations, Israel-China Joint Issue